Your blog is a major part of your content marketing strategy. A blog is a great way to generate new, updated content for search engines. In addition, it’s a great way to raise awareness about your brand and share your knowledge about your industry.
Depending on how often you post, it can be easy for your blog to become cluttered and outdated. Therefore, it’s important to conduct routine maintenance and generate fresh content.
Cleaning up your blog posts every so often is beneficial for a few reasons. It allows you to reexamine previous content and get inspiration for new ideas. In addition, you can update or remove old content. A routine clean up is not only beneficial for you, but it also provides your readers and customers with a better experience.
When conducting a clean up, there are a few questions you should ask yourself to decide if a post is worth keeping.
1. Does the post still fit with your other content?
Your content should be consistent with your brand. It’s possible that it has gone in a different direction, and old posts may no longer fit in with the rest of your content. These posts won’t attract your target audience. If someone visits your blog and doesn’t find the information they were expecting, they’re going to leave immediately.
This is also a good time to take a look at your categories. Avoid having too many categories. Categories that only have one or two posts should be combined with similar categories, as long as users can still easily find the content they are looking for. When in doubt, think of the Goldilocks principle: you don’t want categories that are too specific or too broad.
2. Can it easily be updated?
Would changing the style of the headline or adding h2 tags make the post stronger? Maybe your post contains a few broken links that need to be updated. Posts that only require a few quick changes to instantly be better are worth keeping.
If it’s outdated, or simply not a great piece of content, it’s probably best to delete the post. The time and effort it would take to repurpose it isn’t worth it.
Newsworthy topics, however, can still spark ideas for fresh content, even if they are outdated. For example, you might be able to highlight what you learned in a year following a significant event in your industry. The original post may no longer be valuable, but it could help generate new topic ideas.
3. Can it be turned into an evergreen piece?
Evergreen content remains relevant well after it’s published. A well-researched, detailed piece of content can attract audiences over the long term, rather than just a few days. For example, the evergreen piece could focus on common questions your business receives from customers. Look at posts that received high engagement, as these are often an indication of topics that could bring in consistent blog traffic.
How-to blog posts are a common type of evergreen content. They’re popular, and if your post is a topic that people will continuously search for, it can be a piece that brings in a constant flow of traffic to your website. If you have more time, turning a buzzworthy post into a relevant and timeless infographic. Not every piece needs to be evergreen, though, so choose wisely.
4. Did people love your post?
Engagement is a good metric of your post’s success. Look at social shares and comments. Posts that generated a thoughtful discussion with your readers are usually worth keeping.
In addition, high engagement is a good performance indicator and signals to new visitors that you are an authoritative figure in your industry.
You can also use Google Analytics to see which posts are your most popular posts. For example, if you want to see which pages received the most views within the last year, look at the site content under the Behavior tab. Not only will this tell you what posts received the most traffic, but you can use this information to generate similar content that your readers will love.
5. Does it add value for your readers?
The most important question relates to value. How is your audience benefiting from this post? Your readers visit your blog for a reason. If your posts aren’t relevant, helpful, interesting or informative, your readers won’t stay.
When cleaning up your content, it’s important to have an understanding of your audience—their interests, needs, etc. Think from your readers’ perspective. If they wouldn’t find the post valuable, then it’s probably not worth the blog space. Every post should always have your readers in mind.
These questions are helpful when cleaning up content and determining what posts you should save. Routine maintenance keeps your blog organized and provides visitors with a good experience. It’s an opportunity to remove irrelevant content, create new ideas, and improve old content.